SDSU Men’s Basketball Season Preview: Adam Seiko

Credit: Garrison/ EVT

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Credit: Paul Garrison/ EVT

A look at Adam Seiko of the San Diego State Aztecs men’s basketball team. 

The top three scorers from last year’s San Diego State Aztecs Mountain West Championship team are all gone.

Role-players will need to step on the offensive end, and Adam Seiko is a prime candidate to do so.

Seiko joined the Aztecs program in 2017, but his journey there is a fascinating one. Seiko’s mother, Eva Saira Ariko, moved to the United States in 1997 from Uganda. She settled in Boston, where a lot of Ugandans settled in who also came to America. Seiko was born and raised in Boston before he moved to southern California.

He played at Sierra Canyon High School, a California high school basketball powerhouse. His team senior year consisted of several other players who made it big in college basketball, such as Marvin Bagley, Remy Martin, Marcus Bagley, Cody Riley, and Terrance McBride.

Despite all of this talent around him, Seiko still shined by putting up 10 points per game, and as every Aztecs fan knows, he put his elite on-ball defense on display.

“Seiko’s been guarding the best high school players his whole career, long before he got to San Diego State, and that’s how he got here,” SDSU assistant coach Dave Velasquez said.

The elite defense from Seiko led him to San Diego State, which is a perfect match for him, given the reputation of the Aztecs. However, according to ESPN, Seiko received offers from seven other schools, all of which were other mid-major schools on the west coast.

Seiko averaged 20 minutes per game last season, but he’ll be playing significantly more in the 2021-22 season. The coaching staff believes in his ability to elevate from a role player to a playmaker this year.

“We thought before he left this summer of him playing off-ball screens more and being more of a playmaker than a shooter,” Velasquez said.

This summer, Seiko played in AfroBasket, an international basketball tournament between African Nations that is only played every four years. Seiko represented Uganda and was coached by ESPN NBA Draft analyst Mike Schmitz, who was extremely impressed with Seiko’s performance.

“I thought he showed glimpses of somebody who can create with the ball in his hands,” Schmitz said. “A lot of that is because of his ability to shoot it off the dribble and the fact that he can think the game. He’s a very underrated passer.”

This is a great sign for Aztecs basketball, as San Diego State will need Seiko to show these traits to meet expectations. The SDSU coaching staff was pleased to see this displayed, and they were extremely happy for Seiko to have the opportunity at AfroBasket.

Credit: Paul Garrison/ EVT

“It was fun to watch him, and I think it really helped him,” Velasquez said. “We don’t hold our guys back. Any opportunity for them to go out and get a great experience like that, we’re going to let them.”

Velasquez also knows how hard Seiko works and what he means to the program.

“Adam’s a guy that is everything you want to talk about in recruiting,” Velasquez said. “He’s waited his turn, believes in the coaching staff and has played several roles for the team. He’s a gym rat. Talk about a guy that lives in the gym. When he leaves here, there’s going to be legends and stories about how often he was in the gym.”

This is Seiko’s fifth year in the program. He will have an additional year of eligibility following this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic giving every player an extra year of eligibility last year. The program veteran is not only regarded as a player.

“Seiko is more of a teacher’s assistant than a student,” Velasquez said. “We had a great conversation about being a captain and a leader. He can really help these new guys get caught up to speed on the floor. People listen to Adam, and he’s a leader on and off the floor.”

Coach Fisher instilled that the basketball court is just a classroom. Adam Seiko will be looking to teach some opposing players some lessons when he puts on the Aztecs uniform starting next week.

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